Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wedding Daze

My girlfriend, Charity, got married today.  It was a beautiful ceremony in  which Jerry and I were privileged to sing, Cody was the ringbearer, and I was a bridesmaid.  It was an emotional day for all, as her brother Dave's absence was strongly felt, but it was also a joyous celebration.
Charity was a sight.  So beautiful....and happy.
And the ringbearer?  Well....look at him!  Isn't he handsome?  Here he is below, giving Mama a HUGE squeeze.

It was a tiring day, but one of great celebration and happiness.
Congratulations, Charity and Matt!  We can't wait to hear all about your life together.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This Can't Be For Real

But it is.

On the way home from running a few errands this morning (no, I did not participate in Black Friday), I heard on the news that a Wal-Mart employee was trampled by people waiting in line today.  He later died of his injuries.

At first, I thought I couldn't have heard right and that the story must be some kind of mistake. When I got home, I looked it up online and found this.

Madness, I tell you.  Madness.

This is why we make "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" a part of our decorating tradition every year...the message is RIGHT ON.  There is no reason to get so "kerbobbled" for heaven's sake.  

It's about our Savior!  HE is the Gift.  HE is the Reason!  Let us not get sucked into the lie that has become the American way for so many.  Let us remember to wish people a cheerful "Merry Christmas" and not the watered down "Happy Holidays"...or worse, "Happy Winter Solstice." *shudder.*

And that's all I'm going to say about that.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Today, I'm thankful.  My heart is filled with gratitude, not just because it's Thanksgiving, but because it seems more important than ever to be...well, thankful.

So, in honor of Thanksgiving, in no particular order, here is what I'm focusing on today.
  • Freedom in Christ found in the gift of salvation.
  • My loving husband (and best friend)
  • Our immediate and extended families
  • Friends
  • Great neighbors
  • A wonderful church where we can worship freely
  • A warm, comfortable home
  • Being able to spend quality time with my kids
  • God's provision
  • My husband's job and a steady stream of students each week
  • The privilege of being a mom and watching my two precious boys grow
  • The simple, everyday joys in life
May we all focus our eyes today on the Giver of all good gifts.  He has been so faithful to us.  

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dressed for Success

Today, after lunch, according to our daily schedule, Cody and Caden went upstairs to get dressed and read books.  (No, we generally aren't out of our pajamas until the afternoon unless we have somewhere to be....just one of the many benefits of homeschooling!)  While I was cleaning up, I heard footsteps coming down the stairs and when I peered around the corner, Cody was dressed in a button down shirt with a tie.  While fighting giggles, I asked him why he was so dressed up and he promptly replied, "Because, Mom.  I want to look good for Kimmie!" (Kimmie is a little girl his age who comes over on Mondays for her piano lesson.) We ended up compromising and he's currently wearing a polo with nice jeans.  I thought perhaps he should change into something a little bit more...ummm...every day.

I thought this stuff wasn't supposed to start for AT LEAST another six years or more!  

I think we'll save all those shirts and ties for another year.  Or two.  Or eight.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happiness Is...

Arriving at the gas station to find out gas is under $2.00/gallon and subsequently filling up the van for $31.00. I didn't know if we'd ever see these prices again.  WOO HOO!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

Today, after bible study, I went to pick up Caden.  The ladies who work with our children are so sweet and they take such good care of our kids so we moms can spend time in the Word and in fellowship with one another.  

When I got to the room, Caden was trying to push another kid off the riding toy he was sitting on (I think it was a sit and spin) and just as he was making this shrieking, whining noise and pushing this poor child, the chid-care worker in the room said, "Oh, that Caden!  He's just so sweet!!!!"  

Uh-huh.  I can see that.

She then proceeded to tell me that earlier, Caden had taken a bible off the shelf, sat down and opened it, and then said, "I pray now."  With that, he folded his hands, closed his eyes, and bowed his head.

We all have days like this one, don't we?  We're just bigger.  We push back when things don't go our way.  We moan and complain about the insignificant, unimportant little things in life.  We act selfishly, impulsively, immaturely.  We're just older.  And we should know better.

Isn't it good to know that when we've not been on our "best behavior" we can open God's Word, close our eyes, fold our hands, and talk to our loving Father?  Isn't it so comforting to know that He hears us and loves us anyway, despite all our failures and inadequacies?

Like the loving mother who corrects and instructs her child, our faithful Father is looking for opportunities to teach us so we might become more and more like Him.

I'll try to remember that the next time I'm tempted to push a little kid off the sit and spin or whine and complain when things don't go my way.  Perhaps my toddler will follow suit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I can't believe how fast these little boys are growing up.  I look at those faces and my heart overflows with love and adoration.  Having them home with me to enjoy each and every day is such a privilege and one that I don't take for granted.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of children.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Our home group is doing a study called "Gripped by the Greatness of God" by Dr. James MacDonald.  (James was our pastor for several years before we moved to a smaller branch about 5 years ago.)  Our group started this study last year but we never got through the first chapter. This year, we've purposed to make our group time a priority and it's been a real blessing.  I have to say that the timing of this study has been perfect; definitely by God's design.  
We are living in such uncertain times, and if you are like me, there are times that I question what God is doing through it all.  I want to be completely sold out, totally trusting in God's ways and purposes, but I'll be honest.  Some days it's hard.  Some days I'm fearful.  Some days I just don't do very well in the trust department.

Our memory verse this week is Romans 8:28:  We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

What are your circumstances?  Where does life find you today?  How are you responding?  Are you tempted to question God's goodness and sovereignty?  Pastor James says that in his years of ministry, this is the area where people struggle the most.  They ask, "God!  What are you doing?"  Ask yourself this question:  Am I going to embrace the life my sovereign God has allowed?  Or am I going to live a life of bitterness?  This is a hard question, but my faith (and my God) demands an answer.

Corrie ten Boom is one of my real-life heroes.  Her courage in the midst of the hell she lived through at the Ravensbruck concentration camp came from one place and one place only:  Her trust in a good, loving, sovereign God.   As Corrie's sister Betsie lay dying, she described God's sovereignty in a way that changed Corrie forever:
"I don't know why God allows suffering, Corrie, all I know is across the blueprint of our lives, God wrote the word Ravensbruck....Tell them, Corrie - tell them that no pit is so deep that He is not deeper still."  
We don't get to choose what the blueprint says.  Only God does.  But let those words stick in your heart today and in the days to come.  No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still.

"I am the Lord, and there is no other; 
The One forming light and creating darkness, 
causing well-being and creating calamity; 
I am the Lord who does all these."  ~Isaiah 45:6-7

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Post is Dedicated to My Mother

Yes, some of you may know that it is my birthday today.  I've never actually publicly declared my birthday here on the ole blog, but Facebook has let the cat out of the bag, so now you know. I'm 35 years young today.  

I actually want to use this forum to thank my wonderful mom.  She enjoys telling me the story about the time that she began experiencing some warning signs around 3 months into her pregnancy.  The idiot doctor at the time had no comforting words for her except to say, "Go home and get ready to lose the baby."  Thankfully, my mom is the fighting type and she consulted her trusted friend and OB who told her that was hogwash and to get off of her feet. She obeyed. Obviously, you know the end of the story, because here I am, 35 years later.

Now that I am a mom and have been blessed to carry and deliver two babies of my own, I'm so thankful that she brought me into this world.  The fact that God chose she and my family for me is such a blessing.  

So, thank you, Family (and friends).  Thanks for your kind words and sweet wishes today.  I love you all!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brotherly Love

About a week ago, I walked into the living room after tackling a pile of dirty dishes. We don't have a dishwasher, so it always takes quite a while to get them all done. When I entered the room, I was immediately struck by the odor of a dirty diaper, and I groaned, "CADEN. Do you have a dirty diaper?" He looked my way and simply muttered, "mmm hmmmm!"

I called him over to the area where we change his diapers and as I began the process once again, trying to count how many diapers I must have changed in the past two and a half years, I began to rant and rave about how tired I was of changing stinky, yucky, diapers, and how I wish he'd learn to go on the potty, and how sick I was of buying diapers, and blah, blah, blah. As if the two year-old cares.

All of a sudden, I hear a sweet little voice say, "Mom, do you want me to change Caden? I will if you want me to."

Guilt filled my head and heart as I thought about how silly it was to complain about this task. It is, after all, part of the job description.

I gently replied, "No, no Cody. It's okay. You don't have to do it. It's mommy's job. I really shouldn't have said that to Caden. I'm sorry."

Fast forward to tonight, just about an hour ago. I was fixing dinner, and all of a sudden Cody came into the kitchen and he said, "Mom, do you want me to put this in the garbage or should I take it outside?" I stopped and turned to see him holding a diaper. After recovering from the shock of it all, I walked in to see that Cody had changed Caden and even got him dressed and back in his clothes. He didn't just change a wet diaper. He had changed a dirty one!!!

Strange as it sounds, I was so humbled that Cody had done this for me. Without even asking, knowing I was working to make dinner in kitchen, he took it upon himself to serve his brother.

Now that's what I call brotherly love.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

~Romans 12:10

Friday, November 07, 2008

Every day in our homeschool, Cody has quiet reading time.  After he finishes reading, he writes a summary and then draws a picture.  Yesterday, he read a chapter in his Beginner's Bible about Hannah and her desire to have a baby.  He discovered that God gave Hannah the desire of her heart.  Make sure you click on the picture so you can see the details.  

In Cody's words...
"The first picture is Hannah when she didn't have a baby.  Then, they prayed and prayed."
When I asked why Hannah is crying in the last picture, he replied, "They were happy tears."

I share this today, because Jerry's brother Bob and his wife have just learned that they are going to have a baby.  God has given them the desire of their hearts.

Congratulations, Bob and Grace.  We rejoice with you over this precious new life you've been given!  We can't wait to meet him or her!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

God of this City

When I woke up yesterday, the lyrics to a song were on my lips and in my heart. I couldn't get them out of my head all day. They were such a great reminder to me and really calmed my anxious fears about the future of our nation. We have so much to be thankful for and much to pray for. We have a God who is bigger than any ruler or authority here on earth.

For HE is "the God of this city, the King of these people, the Lord of this
nation. He's the light in this darkness, the hope to the hopeless, and the
peace to the restless. Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city."

May we all be on our knees like never before and may His sovereign will be done. Our hope is in Him, not man. Let's all get behind our new president and watch what God is going to do.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fear Not

As we all wait with anticipation the outcome of this very critical election, let us remember that God is sovereign and already knows the outcome.

Let us remember to get on our knees today and pray that God would heal our land.

Let us not fear.

Let us walk in faith.

Let us proclaim Christ boldly with our vote.

Let God's will be done.

Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I
am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am
your God. I will strengthen you and help
you; I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hearts and Homes

It's been said that you can never go home again, but I beg to differ.  I have found, as I get older, that my time spent at home with my mom, dad, sisters and nieces only gets sweeter.  And it also gets harder to say good-bye and come back to our own home.  Don't get me wrong.  Both places are truly "home" to us, but it only gets harder to leave.  I can't stand it.

We spent the weekend with my family.  We watched our beloved Huskers get trampled by Oklahoma.  That's okay, because we were all together, had some lovely food, the kids had a blast (as always) and we truly enjoyed one another's company.  (We know it's not ALL about the winning!)  We worshipped together at church and spent the afternoon at play.  Papa Dean took the kids on a nature hike, and they came back with their fists full of things they'd found.  

When it was time to leave, I tried hard to keep it together, but the floodgates started to open when we loaded ourselves into the van and I turned around to see Cody crying.  All day he'd say, "I wish we could stay just a little bit longer."  And I'd say, "I know, baby.  Me too."  Nanna came to the rescue and helped bring a smile to his face, for which I was very grateful.

On the way home, my tired boys crashed in the backseat. Their cousins wore them out!  They had such a great time.  My mom and I talked by phone on the way home (yes, I called her) and we both marveled at the way the kids played together.  They are such good buddies and they truly love one another.  It's so sweet to see them interact.  Unless somebody gets hurt, there's never an issue.  They don't fight, they don't argue.  I hope this always is the case.

And so today, on this beautiful Monday morning, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to my family for their love and kindness.  Thanks for always making time to spend with us when we come home.  Thanks for making us feel special.  We love you and we miss you.  

And we'll see you soon.